Ascent of Sarasota County High Point on 2011-02-14

Climber: Ben Lostracco

Others in Party:supported by Rose
Date:Monday, February 14, 2011
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
    Motorized Transport to Trailhead:Car
Peak:Sarasota County High Point
    Elevation:100 ft / 30 m

Ascent Trip Report

I read all the reports on this County, the last of which was in written 2004 so a full update is in order. This County has 3 candidate highpoints Areas, I first went to the 2 most northern Areas.

We approached from south of Tampa by driving south on I75 to exit 217, then east on 70 for 12.6 miles to a right turn on Verna Road. Drove south on Verna, entered Sarasota County, to a left turn at 2.6 miles on Singletary Road, continued east for .43 miles to Ranch Club Blvd. on the left and a large sign "Sarasota Ranch Club". This is the access road to the 2 most northern Areas. This Ranch Club (not yet fully developed) has large upscale homes on huge lots, all beautifully fenced-in with white fence. The large orange groves of the past are no longer.
We turned left on Ranch Club Blvd, zeroed our odo and drove north.
0.34 miles ..... past Hitching Post Way on the right.
1.00 miles ..... arrived at road end at a circle with mailboxes, road continues east as a narrow driveway.
1.12 miles ..... narrow driveway dead-ends at house #2633 on the right (Area 2 is to its south). On the way to the dead-end after the circle we past house #2655 on the left followed by an unnumbered house on the right (behind it is Area 1).
We went to both houses south of the narrow driveway, no answer. We also knocked at 2 houses prior to the circle with same results. After a few scouting walks I found the following very good route to these 2 Areas.

Area 1 (furthest northwest), walk on grass track from the southwest side ...... 1.5 miles, 50 minutes RT.
Drove east on Hitching Post Way 150 yards to its end at the circle, parked the van, this was my TH. There are no houses on this road, only for sale signs, huge grass fields to the east and south.
I walked east on a grass track 350 yards to a north/south fence-line where the grass track turns left (north) along the fence ..... a short distance north the track meets a white fence on the left and continues as a 20 foot wide track with fences on both sides. At about 750 yards the track turns right (east) about 160 yards to a height-of-land, the highground area is to the right (south) amid an old orange grove at 30 yards. I crawled under the fence and walked to my chose spot, the coordinates were 27.36056, 82.25503 (close to PB).
Two workers were working on removing the remaining orange trees. As noted earlier the orange groves in this whole area have given-way to progress.

Area 2 (furthest northeast) ..... From Area 1 I continued east on the track 200 yards to the next height-of-land, a small grove of moss covered trees to the north (other side of the fence). I took my coordinates at the fence 27.36085, 82.25333. Higher ground is 10 yards to the north in the grove, to the east 100 yards is a small house to the south of the fence-line.
I believe this Area 2 is much lower than Area 1 and should be removed as a candidate.

Area 3 (furthest south) ..... From Area 2 we drove back to Singletary Road and traveled east .62 miles to 284th Street (.1 mile in Manatee County) and a large sign "Magnolia Hill". We drove north .5 miles to driveway on the left "Windwood Farms, mailbox #10100". We drove west into the driveway .1 mile to the entrance at the County Line (north/south fence-line) leading to 2 large homes with a pond.
The owner, Angela, was outside gardening, told me that they built here 2 years ago on 40 acres of land. They raise horses and have completely transformed the orange groves to grazing land. She was well aware this being highground saying that she has documentation in this regard. She said that she has had other highpointers, because of the horses in the field she joined me in the walk out to the Highground area which is about 100 yards north of the houses at a (east/west) fence-line. The whole area is pretty flat.
We checked out the next 2 houses (#10006, #10002) north of #10100 on 284th Street. The same fence-line on the County Line is behind the houses, the land on the west side belongs to #10100.

Summary Total Data
    Total Elevation Gain:20 ft / 6 m
    Round-Trip Distance:1.5 mi / 2.4 km
    Route:grass track from the southwest side
    Trailhead:ranch club blvd  80 ft / 24 m
    Route Conditions:
Unmaintained Trail, Open Country

This page has been served 558 times since 2005-01-15.

Copyright © 1987-2019 by All Rights Reserved. Questions/Comments/Corrections? See the Contact Page Terms of Service